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If we have led you into believing that Darjeeling is purely a touristy place, that is far from the truth. Thanks to the position of Darjeeling in Himalayan foothills, there are a number of excellent trekking trails you can find around the city; Sandakphu being one of the popular ones. It is a moderate level trek that takes you through some extremely scenic landscapes until you finally reach Sandakphu at 11,929 feet.
This is probably the best trek you can undertake in the region if you are an experienced trekker. Sandakphu is the highest peak in West Bengal, so you can imagine the grand views of the grandest Himalayan mountains you can witness from here. Sandakphu Trek is an ultimate dose of thrill and amusement.
Location: Begins at Manebhanjan, West Bengal
Treat yourself with the impressive fauna species of the Himalayan biodiversity by visiting Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park with your friends and family on your trip to Darjeeling. Opened in 1958, this zoo is the largest high-altitude zoo in the country, sitting at an elevation of 7,000 feet. Spanning across 67 acres, this wildlife abode houses exotic animals like snow leopard and tiger.
The other highlights here are endangered species like red panda and Himalayan wolf. All in all, with a unique range of Himalayan animals and birds on display, this place is an absolute delight for any nature or wildlife lover coming to Darjeeling.
Location: Darjeeling - Jorethang Road, Jawahar Parbat, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734101
Timing: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Entry Fee: INR 30 per person
Yiga Choeling is the real name of this monastery belonging to Gelukpa sect of Buddhists. The vivid colours in the exteriors of the monastery complex and the fine architecture come together to create an enchanting atmosphere for visitors, especially architecture buffs. Built in 1850, this is monastery is one of the oldest ones in Darjeeling.
The highlight here is an idol of Maitreya Buddha that is 15 feet in height. Apart from being a very significant religious place for local Buddhists, Ghum Monastery is one of the most peaceful places to visit in Darjeeling for the tourists.
Location: Ghum, Darjeeling
Timing: 10 am to 6 pm
Entry Fee: No charges
A symbol of eternal peace among people belonging to all nations and religions, Darjeeling Peace Pagoda is one of the most iconic tourist places in Darjeeling. In other words, Peace Pagoda is a temple symbolising ‘Unity for World Peace’. Due to its incredible design exhibiting the fine Japanese architecture, a visit to this place would be a treat for anybody who is interested in photography or architecture.
The temple complex houses a total of four golden Buddha statues, and the inner walls are adorned with carvings depicting different stories from the life of Lord Buddha. You can spend a day here soaking in the tranquil vibes of this peaceful place.
Location: West Point, Darjeeling
Timing: 4:30 am to 7 pm
Entry Fee: No charges
If you love being outdoors and surround yourself with the freshness and calm of nature, Dooars is the most ideal place for you to visit when you are in Darjeeling. Dooars is a place that defines ‘pristine nature’ with its untainted, lush green landscapes. It is a vast region of floodplains that encompasses tea gardens, hill slopes, undulating meadows, tropical forests, and ethnic villages.
The place is ideal for nature photography, wildlife exploration, and nature stay. The natural beauty of the region and the variety of experiences it has on offer make Dooars one of the most fascinating places to visit in Darjeeling.
Your Darjeeling tour is clearly incomplete if you do not indulge in the once-in-a-lifetime experience of taking a ride in the Toy Train that runs on Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. Just grab a window seat, and get lost in a world full of amazing views and refreshing moments. If you are interested in photography, you will find the experience heavenly after all the breathtaking frames your camera captures during the journey.
One of the most exciting parts of being on this train is that you will be gaining a lot of elevation along the route from New Jalpaiguri at 100 m to Darjeeling at 2,200 m.
Location: New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling
Imagine watching the most spectacular mountain peaks in the world – Mt Everest and Mt Kanchenjunga – during sunrise. Imagine how the sky changes its shades every minute and paints the towering mountains in its own shades. Feels magical, right? Tiger Hill is the place where you can bring this fantasy to life. Boasting an elevation of 2,590 feet above the sea level, Tiger Hill is located above Ghum at a distance of 11 km from Darjeeling City Centre.
The site has an observatory where you can sit and enjoy the awe-inspiring Himalayas. Popular for the panoramic vistas you can enjoy from up here, Tiger Hill is one of the must visit tourist places in Darjeeling.
Location: 11 km from Darjeeling
Timing: 4 am to 6 pm
Observatory Fee: INR 10 to 40
Located near Darjeeling, this is a spiral railway track engineered during the era of British India. When you are taking a journey on Toy Train in West Bengal, this is inarguably the most fascinating stretch you will cover. Due to its unique path where the train spirals over itself through a tunnel, Batasia Loop becomes one of the most interesting tourist places in Darjeeling.
The site also features a memorial dedicated to Gorkha Soldier of the Indian Army who laid down their lives in the post-independence India. You can enjoy a 360 degree panoramic views of Darjeeling from here.
Location: West Point, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734102
Timing: 5 am to 8 pm
Observatory Fee: INR 15 per person
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Traveller Tales from West Bengal
29 March 2016
Dzongri Goechala Trek in Sikkim is one of the best treks in the town. It had been a great trek. I had a lovely time there. It was awesome. I loved it totally. One should definitely try this to know how...
04 February 2018
"Overall a good trek. The Himalayan Trekker guide, Arpan, was very friendly and helpful. I would definitely recommend it for beginners. Seasoned trekkers might find it a bit easy."
15 December 2014
After this trek, I realized why everyone recommended me for Darjeeling and Sikkim. Truly a paradise and this trek reveals more about these places.
16 April 2019
"brilliantly organized, couldn't ask any better"
15 May 2017
I decided to do a solo Himalayan trekking in a spur of the moment, on a Sunday afternoon. I randomly googled for the organisers and Thrillophilia were the only guys to come back with answers. They sugg...
10 May 2016
The crowing glory of this place is Mt Khangchendzong, the third highest mountain in the world. Viewing the mountain was really fascinating us and the experience was mind boggling.
16 June 2014
One of the most adventurous and difficult treks of my life. the scenery was so awesome..really enjoyd the trek and made some awesome new friends.
17 October 2014
It is difficult to explain my entire experience in few words. It was an awesome experience which I would cherish my whole life.. of course it's the the only highest place in West Bengal at an altitude ...
12 September 2014
Sandakphu is a wonderland trip for the trekkers. It's located at an altitude of 11,929ft in Darjeeling district .This is the summit or the highest point in Singalila range, and is also the highest pea...
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What You Should Know More About West Bengal
West Bengal is a place crowded with tourists and hence, you should book your stay and travel facilities in advance.
The number of people scamming tourists is comparatively high in West Bengal and hence, you should refrain from speaking to strangers.
While touring in the mountainous regions, you should take care of not going on trek routes, which are not specified as you might have chances to get lost.
Carry all types of weather clothes as at every destination, the weather might change drastically.
Book your tour packages from authorized tourist agencies and pay only after you attain a receipt for it.
The legal age to consume all types of alcoholic drinks in the state of West Bengal is 21 years.
The legal age to consume all types of alcoholic drinks in the state of West Bengal is 21 years.
Darjeeling is one of the most famous holiday destinations not only in West Bengal, but in India. The place nestles in snow-clad mountains against the backdrop of the stunning Himalayas, making it a heaven of earth. The land is colorful with green tea plantations, red and white flowers blooming all over, birds singing around while you have the scenic views in front of your eyes.
Siliguri is another picturesque destination that gives the tourists a spectacular views of the Himalayas. It is famous for production of tea and timber and while you stroll among the tea gardens smelling the mellow fragrance of fresh tea against the backdrop of snow-clad mountains and thick forests on the foothills, you will experience some of the best times of your life.
Hooghly is a very interesting place and it has many reasons for it. Considered as a sacred place because Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa and Sarada Devi stayed here for many reasons. This place is also of historic significance as it bears influence of the French, Dutch and Portuguese. The Chandannagar Museum and Srirampore are two main tourist destinations of this place.
Kalimpong is a hill station located in the lower Himalayas, at an altitude of 1250 meter. This place offers breathtaking views of the Himalayas and if you want to get away from the overcrowded tourists destinations, this place is a must visit for you, It is also famous for the traditional handicrafts and beautiful flower sanctuaries.
Cooch Behar is located in the north-eastern part of West Bengal and is famous for the rich influences from the Mughal Era. It has got many beautiful ancient monuments and is also famous for the huge water body it houses. Some of the most important sight-seeing destinations here are the Cooch Behar Palace, Chilapara Forest Range and Rasik Bil.
Barrackpore is a land which is packed with natural beauty as well as of high historical importance too. This place has a lot of influence of history from the pre-independence era because it was a place of origin to a lot of freedom fights. The places to visit here are Mangal Pandey Park, Gandhi Museum and Jawaharkunja Garden.
The Sundarban National Park is a Tiger Reserve and Biosphere Reserve in West Bengal. It is a part of the Ganges Delta and adjacent to the Sundarban Reserve in Bangladesh. It is a home to the Royal Bengal tigers who rule the Mangrove forests and also houses some of the most exotic species of birds, reptiles and invertebrates.
Last but not the least, Kolkata, the capital city of West Bengal is known as the happiest city in India. With many British Raj Buildings and heritage constructions, this place has a lot to offer. The best time to visit Kolkata is during Durga Puja, and the must-see places are Victoria Memorial, Park Street and the street culture of Kolkata in general.
West Bengal is a place rich in art and culture. Every city has some different art forms and traditions to reflect and the array of unique and different forms of art, culture, folk-lore and traditions will take you in a magical land. West Bengal is famous for sea-food delicacies all over India. There are many restaurants in Kolkata, especially on the park street, where you can enjoy delicious fish and other sea-food delicacies cooked with authentic perfection. The street food and sweets of West Bengal, especially in Kolkata is also worth relishing. You will get shopping options silk sarees, block print fabric, Bengali Sweets, local handicrafts and jewelry in Bengal. There are many famous shops which offer these things specially, and you can satisfy the shopaholic inside you with these things to buy. While some of the places in West Bengal are developed and urbanized cities, the other part is rural and laid-back. Every place here has a different culture and yet, these exist with co-operation and harmony with one other. This plethora of different cultures will really impress you. With the Himalayas on one side and the Bay of Bengal on the other side, West Bengal is nothing less than a paradise when it comes to natural beauty. You will witness snow-clad mountains and beaches in the same state, which is nothing less than a wonder.
Art and Culture
Co-existence of cultures
West Bengal is a place rich in art and culture. Every city has some different art forms and traditions to reflect and the array of unique and different forms of art, culture, folk-lore and traditions will take you in a magical land.
West Bengal is famous for sea-food delicacies all over India. There are many restaurants in Kolkata, especially on the park street, where you can enjoy delicious fish and other sea-food delicacies cooked with authentic perfection. The street food and sweets of West Bengal, especially in Kolkata is also worth relishing.
You will get shopping options silk sarees, block print fabric, Bengali Sweets, local handicrafts and jewelry in Bengal. There are many famous shops which offer these things specially, and you can satisfy the shopaholic inside you with these things to buy.
While some of the places in West Bengal are developed and urbanized cities, the other part is rural and laid-back. Every place here has a different culture and yet, these exist with co-operation and harmony with one other. This plethora of different cultures will really impress you.
With the Himalayas on one side and the Bay of Bengal on the other side, West Bengal is nothing less than a paradise when it comes to natural beauty. You will witness snow-clad mountains and beaches in the same state, which is nothing less than a wonder.
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West Bengal: Map Book